Estate Planning in a COVID-19 World

In these uncertain times, we hope that you, your families and loved ones are well, and finding new ways to fill each day. As each of us searches for a sense of the “normal” and we struggle to find routine, we wanted to remind you that our firm, and specifically the Trusts and Estates department, is committed to providing services to our clients and stand ready and willing to provide assistance to you.


During times of crisis, many individuals and families realize that either they have not focused on estate planning items, or recognize that their documents are old and in desperate need of updating. Our department is continuing to work with clients with on-going estate planning projects, monitoring estate administration matters and also assisting clients with new projects. We are happy to set up conference calls to discuss questions, or simply to reassure you that proper documentation is in place. If you have a need to speak with one of us, please call the numbers below and we will be happy to talk to you. Although we cannot meet with you in person at our offices to execute documents in light of the Orders from Governor Wolf and Governor Murphy, we are able to arrange for the remote execution of documents, and under Pennsylvania law, many estate planning documents may be valid without witnesses and notary present, so long as the documents are signed at the end and dated. 

           A few items for you to be aware of:

  • The due date for filing Federal Individual Income Tax returns for 2019 has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

  • The payment date for Federal Individual Income Tax returns, as well as the first quarter estimated payment for 2020 (due April 15, 2020), has also been extended until July 15, 2020. To date, there has not been any determination to extend those fiscal year returns due May 15, 2020, or June 15, 2020, or to address potential second quarter estimated payments (otherwise due June 15, 2020). 

  • Pennsylvania has also extended the due date for filing personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020.

  • To date, the deadline for filing Federal Gift (and Generation-skipping transfer) Tax returns has NOT been extended. If you believe that you would be required to file a Federal Gift (and Generation-skipping transfer) Tax return for 2019, or if you have questions about this requirement, please contact us and we can help you determine whether you would be required to file, and we can assist you to file Form 8892 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Form 709 and/or Payment of Gift/Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax) to request an automatic extension of time (6 months) to file.

We hope you all stay safe and stay well. 


For further information, please call any of our Fiduciary and Tax attorneys:
Visit our COVID-19 Legal Response Team Page Here